Last week in Copenhagen, 1,000 people gathered in a public square to participate in a collective act that some might call idiotic and others brave. Together, bound in solidarity, they each ate one ghost chili pepper — one of the spiciest chili peppers on Earth.
Also called the “bhut jolokia,” the ghost peppers grow in the Indian states of Assam and Nagland and, from 2007 till it was dethroned in 2012 by the Trinidad moruga scorpion, it was certified as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records. It measures over 1 million Scoville heat units. For comparison, classic Tabasco sauces measures between 2,500 and 5,000 SHUs.
So the ghost peppers are more than 400 times spicier than whatever hot sauce you’re putting on your eggs in the morning. It’s so insanely hot. So hot that India‘s Defence Research and Development Organisation has been working into the form of a hand grenade that will function like a tear gas cannister.
The Copenhagen ghost-pepper-athon was planned by Klaus ‘Wunderhits, who goes by Chili Kraus and made his name eating hot chilis on YouTube.